On Behalf of Swank, Rockwell, & Driver…

28 02 2011

… I would like to say WTF to the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Hollywood Foreign Press, Screen Actors Guild, and mostly the Academy; All of which have looked over the awesomely talented cast of  Conviction.

Hilary Swank was nominated for a SAG Award, but lost to Natalie Portman’s psychotic ballerina Nina Sayers from BBlack Swan.
Sam Rockwell was nominated in the Supporting Actor category at the Critic’s Choice, but lost to Christian Bale as Dicky Ecklund in The Fighter.

I have seen dozens and dozens of movies in the last year, and Conviction is definitely in my Top 5.  The fact that it was snubbed this awards season really upsets me!

Conviction is based on the lives of Betty Anne Waters and her brother Kenny, set in Ayer, Massachusetts. The duo are typical wrong-side-of-the-tracks siblings, fighting their way to another (presumably better) life. Kenny lands in prison and Betty Anne works her way through GED classes and eventually law school- all in hopes of freeing her beloved brother.

Conviction was well received at the Toronto Film Festival, and had early buzz of being “Oscar material.”  The October 15 release was reviewed by some as “dull,” but none can deny that Swank was stunning and honest as the impassioned Betty Anne; Rockwell was mesmerizing and unnerving as the gritty Kenny; and Driver shone as Betty’s sarcasitc-but-lovable best friend Abra Rice.

The film made back only half of its budget after showing in 672 theaters–  which is roughly a quarter of the screens compared to Oscar contenders like Black Swan (2407 theaters), The King’s Speech (2584 theaters), and The Social Network (2921 theaters).

Conviction had, shall we say, a wicked supporting cast- including Ari Graynor, Juliette Lewis, Peter Gallagher, and Melissa Leo (Oscar winner for her other 2010 film, The Fighter) — Which only confuses me more as to why no one on this film got their due praise.

If no where else, you’re getting it here, on the blog of an almost-college grad/aspiring journalist/part-time small-town critic.

 

Cast of CONVICTION with Director Tony Goldwyn at TIFF

*** One of the blogs or articles I read when researching this said that perhaps the Academy passed Swank over because of her previous wins for Boys Don’t Cry and Million-Dollar Baby.  I gotta call bullshit on that…  If she earns another one, she earns another one.  If this “cap ’em at 2” logic really applied, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson and Walt Disney would have to return more than a few statues. ***


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